Tuesday, January 4, 2011

9-12 December 2010: Maremma / Tallinn Round Trip: a "Mission Impossible" unforgettable!

In the wonderful world of the undersigned are many relationships and the knowledge that thanks to the curiosity and my thoughtless enterprise are alive and well. The news is this: our beautiful country is bitterly parchment and showing the worst of himself from every angle you look at it, especially our Tuscany, the cradle of the Renaissance and of "elogio del bello", is showing patches of unimaginable sadness, a sign of a social decay that seems unstoppable. Yet our earth, so praised by always promoting and go go to the desires of tourists from around the world, is the hit of desires. The art and food, the 'environment and history are important, but everything seems to have lived with advancing resignation without headlights without joy and energy, the very characteristics that set us apart forever. But all is not lost! While every day as I walked in the kitchen of Pacianca Osteria (www.pacianca.it) bland work of this time the phone rings. It 's a friend of mine who calls me from Tallinn (Estonia). He is at home in northern Europe for many years because of his work that has nothing to do with the restaurant, but a couple of years it has entered our world. We talk a lot of things as usual with the affection of all time and the conversation slipped on his desire "to try" to Tallinn a little taste of Maremma. ".. And it takes ..." I say. When you please call me, and so I leave Maremma for four days in the middle of the Christmas markets of the city. It starts on the 9th and return on December 12 in my role as "Ambassador for the Taste of Maremma" directed in a land that I had never visited before about 3000 km away from the shores of our Gulf and catapulted, like in a cartoon in the Centre Medieval Tallinn. A call to organize a gastronomic event that a little weblog Maremma 'took me by surprise, but the other gave me a boost and a special motivation. Perhaps, I thought, could be a good opportunity to get involved and take concrete actions to promote our taste. I omit the description of the incredible journey under "siege pure snow" and the closing of the ports of northern Europe, but I arrived in Tallinn with many hours of delay did not prevent me to discover a lively and very organized and that will be European Capital of Culture. Actually I was more worried about my bag still around the skies of Europe and of the few products that I had chosen not to what I found out a little later: Tallinn old town has a fantastic and perhaps, in the winter landscape with every corner full of Snow, showed me that magic that you do not expect. The Restaurant ("Ombra" Resturant) is one step away from the heart of Old Town, a picturesque square animated by the Christmas markets here are a tradition rich in color and imagination that I thought belonged only to Walt Disney. Cross the square between folk songs with the temperature stuck at -10 °C in harmony for the Italians really unknown. We enter the restaurant and be presented to the staff engaged in normal work, familiarize yourself in the kitchen and start the first operation to organize this tasting. But the task is very complicated because of the inability to regain the food I had in my journey ....
Then click the "mission impossible" for a dinner Maremma preparing some dishes I had in our program and having to go hunting for a suitable product. Meanwhile, there runs a friendly and interesting meeting at the Italian Embassy and then go around shopping. It happens that you do not expect and how to go into the supermarket in town and I understand that Europe is a bit 'house for a stroll through the divisions and brands of products already known, the benches of the same as fresh as you expect them to an incredible crowd .  

Disentangle between the islands of chocolate Christmas gifts and special offers, I wander like a wolf directly to the banks of cool. Accompanied by 'F & B restaurant start spending almost all finding what I wanted with the exception of Chicken Liver  that seem impossible to find. The meat counter is full of pork cuts in all possible  as well as beef, chicken ... anything but chicken liver. Eventually I find them after an amusing conversation with the order of Estonia "And go !!!". I take the beef sirloin and pork tenderloin all produced locally and neighboring countries, but here there is the sausage they use the ground pork, "I take just a little. ... I'll make something that looks like." Proceed with the choice of vegetables, I find everything except the celery, but they are already well advanced. Last rock for my "Zuppettina di Cozze" (because here are the mussels) and find that their fish is not well known and consumed as we are accustomed to, but eventually I find a couple of kilos from Denmark. Run at the restaurant just after 17 and 20 Apart from this tasting and I have to prepare everything in a short time, but getting around in the center with a foot of snow is not as fast. My package of products by Maremma no trace and finally abandoned hopes, I look at the products I chose me and ingenuity to invent a plausible menu. Ok! Start with a tribute to the encounter between the Maremma and Estonia with a dish consisting of a toasted bread with sauce of chicken livers (Crostino Maremmano) and spelled hot sautéed with fresh vegetables served in a martini glass "with a fillet of salmon freshly fried sauce with mushrooms", mussels soup (Zuppettina di Cozze) to proceed with a dumpling butter, cheese, sage and pepper pecorino cheese (Gnocchetti di Patate al Cecio e Pepe alla Alberto Sordi). The pork flavorings supported by my homemade sausage with pepper and a hint of garlic (Maialino agli Aromi Mediterranei), thanks to a Peposo noble sirloin and finally the cake ... ... .. I still think we (I had brought nooks and gingerbread ....). Ok here we are. The preparations of the first difficulty encountered by the absence of a gas stove, electric stove, but only (those of stoves in the house to be clear with the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6) ... pass it on, but and so is the oven before starting all over you a couple of loaves of bread with nuts that there is evil. In the dining room will serve the Chianti Gallo Nero, but I'm really consumed by gourmet with the head in this kitchen that I have to generate all this. It's snowing outside and even within this plan and kitchen staff in Estonia that turns me curious about trying to earn my space to accomplish what is conceived, but slowly moves the light and the products, meat head, are really quite good.Meanwhile, the orders of the restaurant thicken the normal work and also have time to make some room for the dish, but I had to solve the "sweet". I had bought some pods that are identical to those in my country, just a little 'thicker, but very good and digging in the fridge to the restaurant is a sort of ricotta and mascarpone cheese and sweet and nothing easier to make this cake really improvised, but effective and elegant in the filling combined with a warm chocolate sauce and garnished with a savory cranberry sauce. Recheck all the preparations and it all seems beyond expectations, and so the dinner starts at 20.30 with the guests from the Baltic countries and Russia. I look forward to the last pot before you drink with them, but their taste and waiting to test the taste of our cuisine was really paid off in a positive and exciting in contact with these dishes. Well! I spent another two hours to tell of our food and our land, our history and our environment, and Gianfranco and Roberto owners are happy and a bit 'of the emotional pathos that has occurred on this occasion and involving all present for me is the most important sign. From today I can say I have new friends and new relationships built up with the emotion that can lead our culinary sensibility and this mission has allowed me to present a preview of the taste of our cuisine "inventing" a 'event in the heart of one of the centers Medieval Europe's most beautiful. All thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the "Ombra Resturant" and the desirability of having cooked for a table of the personality and culture.  
Amazing that I felt concerned for what I have been for them in this event and not for what they represent, but this is the sadness that overcame you (and applies to all) whenever you have the courage to try to ride dreams beyond our borders. Ciao Tallinn!! Surely this is my first visit to a place that has me a bit 'to understand that everything is possible and that, deep down, we people of Maremma, if we want, we magical people, not just cursed!